(WVLT) -- Three years ago, Tennessee basketball was in the SEC East cellar. Now, it's on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
The basketball Vols make their second prominent SI appearance in a month in the Nov. 19 issue, thanks to a cover photo of Chris Lofton taking a shot over Memphis' Chris Douglas-Roberts. Less than a month ago, the magazine did a profile of coach Bruce Pearl.
The Vols weren't just featured on the cover; they were also high in the rankings. The magazine ranked Tennessee third in its preseason top 20, the highest-ever mark for the team.
The Lady Vols garnered a No. 2 ranking behind Connecticut, despite being the defending NCAA champions. SI is one of the few publications not ranking the Lady Vols at the top of their preseason lists.